The Letter I Wrote to My Son After a Tough Day Together

My beautiful boy, these are just a few of the many things that I love about you:

Your relationship with your brother makes me proud.

When I brought your little brother home, I cried. Not because I was struggling with the new baby, but because I felt so guilty for turning your world upside down and not realizing how hard you would find it.

When I didn’t even know I was pregnant, you looked me in the eye one night as I put you to bed and said, “Mumma. Beeebee.”As the baby grew inside me, you were so tuned in to it. You’d kiss my belly and tell me “beeebee” all the time, and as he entered the world, you told Nanny “beeebee” even though you were two suburbs away. So when we came home I thought you’d be fine.

It broke my heart to see you drop to the floor with your hands over your ears and cry or scream at the slightest squeak from your brother, and I’ll forever remember that the first time he laughed, you screamed and punched your leg at the sound. But I’ll also always remember that you took yourself away from him whenever you felt the need to lash out against the noise that hurt so much. I could see you wanting to be near him, but so pained by the sound of his cries. You worked through all of that and more.

I still tear up to remember those first gentle touches, with one fingertip to his foot, then to his hand, his tummy, and ever so gently your hand stroking his head. The moment you kissed him, because you wanted to, made my heart absolutely soar with joy and pride. Now I watch you play beside him, and give him his toy when he drops it over and over again just so you’ll give it back to him with a smile, and I’m so very proud of how far you’ve come. He adores you, that little baby, and seeing the love that you have for him just blows me away.

natalie smith son the mighty

You are affectionate.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not thank God for this. I think, clichés aside, that He knew that this was what I would need the most as your mum. I love that no matter what kind of day it has been, you will still give me a kiss goodnight (before you shut the door in my face and get into bed with Daddy!).

I love that even though you have few words, you will occasionally say “luv yoo,” and you mean it. I love it that when we’ve had an awful afternoon or morning you will take my face in your hands, just as I do for you, and look deep into my eyes with a smile. I love that you will come and snuggle up beside me, just because, or that you will wrap my arm around you as we walk into school. I love that you give your baby brother the gentlest kisses in the world, and I love how you cuddle up to me as I sing you to sleep.

Your affection has a powerful affect on people. I’ve seen more than one person become emotional after you’ve gone up to them and given them a cuddle. It’s like you know that they needed it and they know how truly special it is for you to give them that moment. You show empathy when all of the “experts” say it is beyond your abilities. If someone is upset you will comfort them, and when one of your classmates has been unwell, you put your arm around them and kiss their cheek.

You give everything, every day. 

Some days this doesn’t seem like much to someone who doesn’t know you, but those tough days, when the world is spinning for you and everything is out of alignment, are the days you give the most, just to be present with us.

It’s so easy to forget this and focus on how hard things are for us on those days. Forgive me buddy, for it is so much harder for you. You work harder every day than any 5-year-old should have to, but you give it your all, and I deeply love and respect you for that.

You teach me.

We watch everything you do. Every task is broken down, every direction repeated over and over and every action analysed. I often wonder if you do the same for us. I think in your own way you do, and you are so much more forbearing with our frustrations as we learn than we are with yours.

You teach me to stop and see the things that I am too busy too see: the dust floating in the sunlight, the rainbow in that tiny bubble, the birds singing so softly in the distance. I am often so slow to understand what you are showing me, yet you keep trying with a patience that I envy. You are not resentful when I am impatient, and you forgive me over and over again when my attitude stinks. Without words, you bring me back to a place of gratitude and hope, each and every time.

And you make me laugh.

You have a wicked sense of humour. I see your brain whirring sometimes and I see you start to giggle as you think of what you are about to do. It’s no coincidence that you love the sign for “mischief”! You make me laugh loudly and often, and it makes your day that someone shares the joke with you.

My little free spirit, you live your life with a joy that infects those around you. I love you and I am so very blessed to be your Mumma.

A longer version of this post originally appeared on The Autism Bubble.

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